Orchard or Kitchen Garden
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Creation of an orchard or kitchen garden
The first of all to be able to create an orchard or kitchen garden is to have enough space in our garden and above all, desire and time to dedicate. An orchard or kitchen garden implies much more continuous vigilance than a garden if we want to achieve good quality and quantity in the harvest.
Never in spaces that are humid or tend to flood since it is the favourite place for pests and the entire crop would be destroyed.
Do not forget to have a space to store work tools and elements of decoration and use. It is also very convenient to provide an area to store soil, manure and crop residues before removing or composting them.
In our garden we can find different types of soil (see section "the soil" in GARDEN AND LAWN). All these types of soil can be improved by incorporating the different substrates available at Fertiberia Jardín: Planting, Substrates Flower Plants, Organic Amendment, Urban Garden, Recebo Grass, Acidophilous or the new PROFESSIONAL UNIVERSAL SUBSTRATE.
Organic matter, whatever the form in which it is incorporated into the soil, increases the water retention capacity of sandy soils, facilitates drainage in heavy soils, reduces excessive alkalinity in calcareous soils and, in general, favours soil growth and rooting of plants.
Once we have selected the place where we want to create the garden, we can start. We must prepare the ground before planting. So that it does not turn out to be hard work, it is important to use a good tool (for example a shovel) whose blade is constantly kept clean and not to lift excessively large pieces of earth. The most convenient thing is to take it with time: dig a little every day or also on the weekend. Thus little by little we will be removing a large surface of earth.
Once we have the ground prepared, we will begin to dig with a shovel about 30-50 cm deep. It is convenient to make a cut as wide and deep as the blade of the shovel, along the plot, placing the extracted earth in a mound to one side. Here we can level the ground according to our needs and interests, giving it the profile we want.
We will be transferring the earth extracted from each trench of the orchard or kitchen garden to the next, that is to say, it is necessary to move the earth from one trench to another trench of the plot. In this way, in the first trench of the plot we will place the earth taken from the last one, in the second trench of the plot we will place the earth taken from the first, and so on.
During the work of digging, some weeds are buried the roots of which we must carefully eliminate, since otherwise they will not stop multiplying and spreading underground organs from their fragments.
Use: In the event that the orchard or kitchen garden does not produce what is expected or simply does not convince us, we can always turn it back into a garden.
Garden cultivation and rotation
Having already prepared the land, the cultivation of most vegetables is easy. What is complicated is the choice of vegetables since what is difficult (when having a very extensive range on the market) is making a choice of a suitable variety that adapts to the conditions of the land. There is no garden that meets the ideal conditions to grow all the species in the garden, so we must select species adapted to our area (climatology, soils, etc.).
Before starting to sow, we must make sure that the earth is wet enough to be able to cultivate. We must sow each crop at the depth it requires, since they may not germinate if they are buried too deep.
The speed of germination depends largely on the climatic conditions and the vegetable considered. It is not easy to know the time when the harvest will take place and, therefore, the exact moment of the collection, since the yield and earliness vary greatly depending on the soil and the weather.
Rotation consists of alternating different vegetable crops on the same surface, since a vegetable grown permanently in the same place depletes the soil. We also do this because it has more risks of parasites and pests. Crop rotation allows harvests at different times, and prevents the proliferation of weeds.
Weeds are fast growing, competing with our plants for water and nutrients in the soil. Therefore, it is important to prevent the development of weeds and destroy them as soon as possible.
irrigation and drainage
Irrigation is a very important part of the garden, as it helps to keep the vegetables alive, and they remain tender as long as they do not lack water. Through the roots they absorb a significant amount of water that contains nutritious elements.
The intensity of transpiration is a function of light, temperature, atmospheric humidity and the drying effect of the wind. If transpiration exceeds absorption, plant leaves begin to wither in order to reduce transpiration, and growth rate slows.
The majority of neighbouring properties do not allow the evacuation of water and, for this reason, most gardens do not have a sanitation system established through pits and drains.
The most effective way to solve this is to raise the level of the parcels. The water circulates underground to the paths, which lead it to the lawn or nearby areas. You can also provide coarse sand to improve the structure and contribute to its sanitation.
In the trade we can find a wide variety of materials for irrigation. You can choose, for example, automatic or semi-automatic irrigation installations, localised irrigation or oscillating sprinkler irrigation, among others. We also find traditional methods, such as the shower and the hose.
Irrigation carried out with the hose from a certain height produces very large drops that carry soil and even seeds. It is convenient to leave the hydrant on the ground. In this way, the water spreads little on the surface, but penetrates deeply and is better used by the plants. The hose must be moved to get the entire plot watered.
The best way to provide water to the vegetables is to place black polyethylene hoses on the plot, with drippers every 15 to 45 centimetres. The hoses unwind along the length of the plants and along the base of the stems. It is enough to feed them with water at very low pressure so that it is distributed throughout all the hoses from where it goes out. This allows the water to penetrate slowly and deeply into the soil without degrading the structure.
Fertilisers can be added to the irrigation water and the two operations can be carried out at the same time. For this, soluble fertilisers such as Fertiberia Jardín "Huerta y Jardín" must be used, because if they are not soluble, the insoluble parts clog the holes.